What a difference a day makes! After long travel and weeks of preparation, both at home and in Togo, we could finally begin treatment.
Team Briefing Prior to first surgery
Our plastic surgeons are truly skilled artisans and magicians. They can take what was once a malformation impeding nutrition, speech, and a normal appearance, and suddenly produce a beautiful new smile. It is amazing to watch the procedures and the dedication with which they work.
It can be difficult for the parents to wait while their children are in surgery, but the joy they express when they see their “new” child for the first time is well worth the wait.
The surgical assistants, instrument handlers and scrub nurses from the hospital assist the Rotaplast surgeons, under the guidance of Rotaplast's OR nurses. An extra member of the team today was Dr. Amouzou, a plastic surgeon from Togo, who came to watch and learn from our doctors.
Today at lunch I, the photojournalist, asked Dr. Dennis Dundas, veteran of 10 Rotaplast missions, if he ever gets numb to the significance of these life-changing procedures. His comment was that every case is unique, every child is special, and the appreciation of the parents just cannot be duplicated. That is why he keeps coming back to volunteer with Rotaplast. That is obviously why we have so many veteran medical personnel on this mission, many of whom are using their personal vacation time to help.
As a first time participant with Rotaplast, I can say that I was amazed to see how the overall logistics were managed. Despite a new environment and new conditions, everyone pulled together for the common cause.
It was a good day!!